Friday, February 03, 2006

Game Log 2/3/06: Runnin' with the big kids

The game I was looking forward to didn't turn out so hot--about a 30-point victory for the state-ranked team.

It's funny...this is my first big-school game of the year, and there really is a big differrence in atmosphere. Maybe it was the large school or maybe it's that the home team is state-ranked, but even in a blowout, there was more intensity in the building than usual. I feel like I didn't show any nerves, though, and felt a lot less than I formerly would have.

My partners and I were on the same page for more or less the whole night. There was some contact, but we felt the kids were playing through it. Maybe a few more fouls on Green than on White (7-3 in the first half, and 2-1 in the third quarter). When I called the first foul on White in the second half, the coach gave a bit of a sarcastic "Wow! You called a foul on White!" I gave her a quick "Take it easy, coach." She said "Four fouls in the game! You've got to help us out!" Trailing by 25 at that point...I cut the coach a break. Turned out to be a good idea, as I didn't hear from her again.

What I'll remember from this game is the way I dealt with the other coach, however...White's coach. I was working tonight with the #1 official in the association--a woman a coach will always love to see--and another first-year varsity guy. I tossed, which means I was the guy talking to the coaches in pre-game. Add that to the fact that I was the unknown quantity, and the coach decided that I was the guy he'd pick on tonight. He did constant chirping (never rude, but seldom correct) for the first quarter--and I don't think he was saying anything to the other two officials.

It was clear early on this needed to stop, and I stopped it early in the second quarter. He didn't like a foul (one of the three in the first half on his team!) I called on his girl that, from his angle, probably looked like a ticky-tack. I was right there, and I saw his girl give a light but discernible push against Red before grabbing the ball. I might have been the only guy to see it, but in my view, that light push was the reason she stole the ball, and I therefore couldn't let it go. The switch brought me in front of his bench, where he complained. Again. I set him straight, taking a different approach from usual. I didn't go straight to "No more!" Instead, since he wasn't being rude, I said: "Coach, you've got to pick your spots. I can't have you talking to me about every single call. Ease up." I didn't hear from him again all night. He knew I meant business. Now, to be fair, it was a 30-point game, so it's tough to say whether it was the point spread that shut him up or me, but he was quiet even before his team blew it open in the third quarter.

There was a weird stretch in the fourth quarter as the game started to get a little uglier and we had to jump in with a lot more whistles. I happened to be C opposite the table. There were very no rotations for about 6 minutes of basketball...for whatever reason, both teams were taking the ball down the table-side. This left me with very little to watch until rebounding started. The net result is that my partners must have called the first 10-12 fouls of the third quarter while I had next to no whistles. It was bizarre. I felt like I was just along for the ride, but it was just a coincidence. There was nothing for me to call.

I was evaluated tonight. His evaluation was both accurate and fair. I got mega props for getting the white coach back into his box when he strayed out (they say nobody's enforcing that, but I did!). I was told that we didn't call enough hand checks early. As a crew, we felt like the hand checks were either not hard enough or very brief, and not impacting play...but upon reflection, I agree with the evaluator. The game would have been better if we'd nipped the hand checks in the bud. I was also told I missed some push-offs in front of me on in-bounds plays. I'll commit to looking at those. He also wanted some 3-second calls early. Fair enough...I'll focus on those three for the rest of the season.

THINGS I DID WELL: Coach management, contained nerves at bigger game than usual
THINGS TO WORK ON: Fast 5-second count, hand checks, 3 seconds, in-bound push-offs

NEXT UP: Another big-school game on Wednesday night.


At 2:15 PM, Blogger Joe said...

"Coach, you've got to pick your spots. I can't have you talking to me about every single call. Ease up."

I'm going to memorize this line so I can use it at work some time.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Add Me! - Search Engine Optimization